Wildlife in the Wild West

Within the first month of my move to Colorado in 2008, we saw enough wildlife bear activity to eliminate any need to visit bears at a zoo. We were living in the National Forest, about 8 miles from civilization, and it gave us a quick education in risk management amongst the“wilderness interface.”

The first lesson was a bear routinely tearing the corrugated sheet metal off of our dumpster lids in search of a midnight snack. Next was the 350 pound “cutie” bumping on the front door while chewing on our hummingbird feeder. Then there was the bear that tore out the window of the back porch, ate a bag of trash, about 10 pounds of hot chocolate, and topped off the meal with about 20 pounds of rat poison for dessert.

In order to prevent these incidents from happening in the future, we practiced risk management by regularly taking out the trash, and improving the window installation, and moving the hot chocolate. By carrying insurance, we were prepared in case the damages were far greater (like if a guest was injured).

When we have an experience that is not desirable, we should often ask ourselves if there is any way to avoid it in the future – or if there is anything we can do to minimize the damage. This type of risk management can be applied to any threat.

Jon Barron, AAI
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